ANN ARBOR, MI --- A new report by the Sustainable Transportation and Communities group at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), a Michigan-based nonprofit research group, examines the benefits of converting corporate fleets from gasoline to compressed natural gas (CNG) and hybrid vehicles.
The study concludes that the "greening" of corporate vehicle fleets presents an opportunity to move a substantial number of highly efficient, clean-fuel vehicles onto the road in a relatively short timeframe -- with results that are both environmentally and economically positive.
Using AT&T's vehicle replacement program as a case study, CAR estimated the impact of buying or converting 15,000 vehicles to cleaner technology over a 10-year period. Replacing fleet vehicles powered by standard internal combustion engines with either hybrid vehicles or vans and trucks converted to CNG could reduce gasoline consumption by more than 49 million gallons during the next 10 years and trim carbon dioxide emissions by 211,000 metric tons total over that period. That's the equivalent of removing more than 38,000 vehicles from the road for a year.
In addition, the AT&T replacement program will help support an average of 1,000 vehicle-manufacturing related jobs each year from 2009-2013.
"This example of corporate leadership, if followed by a significant portion of other public and private fleets, could have a huge impact on the release of greenhouse gases and significantly reduce the dependence on foreign oil," said Kim Hill, director of the Sustainable Transportation and Communities group at CAR and the study's lead. "For example, the emissions equal to 600,000 vehicles and the consumption of 15 million barrels of oil could be eliminated if 25 percent of the fleets had similar programs. In addition, demand for these types of advanced technology vehicles by the nation's fleets could spur a growth in domestic green jobs."
If the country is serious about increasing the number of fuel-efficient vehicles on the road in the near future, the fleets of America represent the best opportunity in the shortest timeframe, Hill said.
CAR performs numerous studies for federal, state and local governments, corporations and foundations. Financial support for this study was provided by AT&T. To view the complete study, visit the CAR Web site at www.cargroup.org.